Teaching Musicality to tango dancers

Steve Pastor

Moderator
Staff member
In order to learn you have to first admit to yourself that there is something you don't know. That is difficult for most adults to do.
Then you have to want to learn.
If all you want is steps and patterns... well, no one can MAKE you learn the musicality part of dance. (Well, generally speaking.)
Recently heard someone ask a "champion" dancer if they had to work on their craft, and, not surprisingly, the answer was "yes", and that was on top of being in a musical/dance environment from birth.
 
If whatever you are doing works, then by all means, keep doing it. But not everyone has it all figured out (whether on the conscious or subconscious level).

The questions is, how do you explain what you are doing to someone who doesn't feel it. It's not so easy to do.
I know I've said many times before, in various threads - some basic music theory plus lots of listening will do wonders. Most social dance songs have pretty simple, straightforward structures and it's not hard to learn what those are.

However, although it's not hard to learn beat, measures, song structure and phrasing, the other part of the equation is to connect with your own heart and emotions and express that within the music and the dance.
 

Angel HI

Well-Known Member
In order to learn you have to first admit to yourself that there is something you don't know. That is difficult for most adults to do.
Then you have to want to learn.
If all you want is steps and patterns... well, no one can MAKE you learn the musicality part of dance.
I feel it... with the music.. and I make it fit. That's how I dance regardless of what type of dance (or skating) I'm doing. Seems these discussions are over-complicating the whole idea?
Yes! Yes! Yes! these 2 posts are among the best that I have ever read on this forum. Dear God! No matter how many times we post this, there seems to be those who insist on something different.
 
Isn't that amazing, I don't count either! I would rather suffer a tortured death. I recall my first Salsa class, they had me counting. As a result, for years, it was the one dance that I couldn't do.:(
Sure... but could you figure out how to step on the first beat or on the second? freedom is good if the music is parsed by your subconscious. Otherwise, you're a random walk and that's no fun to dance to.
 

bordertangoman

Well-Known Member
this is one of my favourite tango pieces - En Tu Brazos, because U can feel the music in the singers voice- unlike the previous example

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bordertangoman

Well-Known Member
here's another to En Tu Embrazos

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Peaches

Well-Known Member
Kind of a random AT thought that I didn't know where else to put:

I'm listening to a bunch of new/electronic AT music, and it's striking me just how suited it truly is to very simple, traditional moves. Milonga, especially. Oh, sure, it's also perfectly suited to nuevo movement and whatnot...but it also works beautifully with the most simple of steps: fwd/side/back steps, in place weight changes, simple rock steps, simple pivots.

I guess it's just striking me how much can be made out of doing nothing much more than playing with rhythm.

Or, perhaps I've gotten to the point where I see pretty much everything in terms of the very simple steps underlying "more complex" movements.

*shrug*
 

Subliminal

Well-Known Member
*nodnod* I can totally see where you're coming from. I don't know why more people don't feel that. They think that if you're dancing to modern music, you have to throw in all your moves. Modern music can have a lot of layers, each layer could have a different feeling/movement associated with it.

btw, remind me to tell you my new theories on cadenzia sometime.
 

Peaches

Well-Known Member
Care to name an example?
Off the top of my current playlist:

"Pequeno Paria" (Roy Dubb Reradio Mix) by Daniel Melingo
"Gente Que Si" by Carlos Libedinsky
"Junto a Las Piedras" by Otros Aires (although, really, I feel this one with a good amount of rise and fall, twisting, and playing with momentum...but it still would work beautifully just focusing on simple playing with the rhythm)
"Milonga Sentimental" by Otros Aires
"El Sonido de la Milonga" by Bajofondo (although at 5+ minutes, you better be really creative with simplicity)

There are more, but like I said...off the top of the playlist right now. GTG...have got to get back to folding laundry with DH.

ETA: "Murga Tango" by Debayres
 
Off the top of my current playlist:

"Pequeno Paria" (Roy Dubb Reradio Mix) by Daniel Melingo
"Gente Que Si" by Carlos Libedinsky
"Junto a Las Piedras" by Otros Aires (although, really, I feel this one with a good amount of rise and fall, twisting, and playing with momentum...but it still would work beautifully just focusing on simple playing with the rhythm)
"Milonga Sentimental" by Otros Aires
"El Sonido de la Milonga" by Bajofondo (although at 5+ minutes, you better be really creative with simplicity)

There are more, but like I said...off the top of the playlist right now. GTG...have got to get back to folding laundry with DH.

ETA: "Murga Tango" by Debayres
I'd very much like to see a copy of the full playlist - any chance of posting it? :)
 

Peaches

Well-Known Member
I'd very much like to see a copy of the full playlist - any chance of posting it? :)
Er...I would if I could? It's not a set-in-stone playlist, as such...just stuff I was been picking through and listening to last night.

If you let me know why you're interested (not to be snarky...just so I can give an appropriate response), I can see what I can do.
 

bordertangoman

Well-Known Member
Er...I would if I could? It's not a set-in-stone playlist, as such...just stuff I was been picking through and listening to last night.

If you let me know why you're interested (not to be snarky...just so I can give an appropriate response), I can see what I can do.
He's plagiarising as usual :lol:
 

bordertangoman

Well-Known Member
I just want to steal some ideas, without doing any work on research :)
Nikolai Lobachevsky

"Who made me the genius I am today,
The mathematician that others all quote,
Who's the professor that made me that way?
The greatest that ever got chalk on his coat.

One man deserves the credit,
One man deserves the blame,
And Nicolai Ivanovich Lobachevsky is his name.
Hi!
Nicolai Ivanovich Lobach-

I am never forget the day I first meet the great Lobachevsky.
In one word he told me secret of success in mathematics:
Plagiarize!

Plagiarize,
Let no one else's work evade your eyes,
Remember why the good Lord made your eyes,
So don't shade your eyes,
But plagiarize, plagiarize, plagiarize -
Only be sure always to call it please 'research'.

And ever since I meet this man
My life is not the same,
And Nicolai Ivanovich Lobachevsky is his name.
Hi!
Nicolai Ivanovich Lobach-

I am never forget the day I am given first original paper
to write. It was on analytic and algebraic topology of
locally Euclidean parameterization of infinitely differentiable
Riemannian manifold.
Bozhe moi!
This I know from nothing.
What-i'm going-to do.
But I think of great Lobachevsky and get idea - ahah!

I have a friend in Minsk,
Who has a friend in Pinsk,
Whose friend in Omsk
Has friend in Tomsk
With friend in Akmolinsk.
His friend in Alexandrovsk
Has friend in Petropavlovsk,
Whose friend somehow
Is solving now
The problem in Dnepropetrovsk.

And when his work is done -
Ha ha! - begins the fun.
From Dnepropetrovsk
To Petropavlovsk,
By way of Iliysk,
And Novorossiysk,
To Alexandrovsk to Akmolinsk
To Tomsk to Omsk
To Pinsk to Minsk
To me the news will run,
Yes, to me the news will run!

And then I write
By morning, night,
And afternoon,
And pretty soon
My name in Dnepropetrovsk is cursed,
When he finds out I publish first!

And who made me a big success
And brought me wealth and fame?
Nicolai Ivanovich Lobachevsky is his name.
Hi!
Nicolai Ivanovich Lobach -

I am never forget the day my first book is published.
Every chapter I stole from somewhere else.
Index I copy from old Vladivostok telephone directory.
This book was sensational!
Pravda - well, Pravda - Pravda said: "Zhil-bil korol kogda-to, pree nyom blokha zhila"[1] It stinks.
But Izvestia! Izvestia said: "Ya idoo kuda sam czar idyot peshkom!"[2]
It stinks.
Metro-Goldwyn-Moskva buys movie rights for six million rubles,
Changing title to 'The Eternal Triangle',
With Ingrid Bergman playing part of hypotenuse.

And who deserves the credit?
And who deserves the blame?
Nicolai Ivanovich Lobachevsky is his name.
Hi! "


Tom Lehrer
 

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